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May 27, 2018
Camden News

Arkansas Digest, 5-15

This article was published May 15, 2018 at 2:09 p.m.

Nucor plans $240M steel expansion in NE Arkansas

HICKMAN, Ark. (AP) — A North Carolina-based steel company is furthering its expansion in northeast Arkansas with a planned $240 million sheet metal production line.

Arkansas Business reports that Nucor Corp. recently announced the galvanizing line for the company’s plant in Hickman. The line is expected to operate by 2021 with capacity to produce half a million tons of steel sheet metal annually.

The company hasn’t given details on potential jobs accompanying the new line. But Arkansas Economic Development Commission spokeswoman Brandi Hinkle expects about 100 new positions.

The announcement comes on the heels of a $230 million cold mill project at the plant. That line was announced in 2016 and is expected to be completed soon.

Nucor has a three-decade history in Mississippi County, employing nearly 1,700 people at four facilities there.

Two teens die in head on car crash in Harmon, AR

HARMON, Ark. (AP) — Authorities say two teenagers have died after a head-on collision in north Arkansas.

Arkansas State Police say the wreck happened Sunday morning on U.S. 62 near Harmon in Boone County. According to a preliminary report, a vehicle driven by 18-year-old Tyler Leon Smith of Wesley crossed the center line and crashed into an oncoming vehicle.

State police say both Smith and a passenger, 19-year-old Russell Bailey Campbell of Damascus, were killed.

The driver of the second car was injured and taken to a hospital in northwest Arkansas.

Columbus, Mo., exports

sex offenders to Arkansas

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri’s tough treatment of sex offenders living outside of prison is sending hundreds of the offenders to neighboring states, where laws are not as stringent.

Missouri requires sex offenders to register for a lifetime, with no exceptions. Other states require registrations for a specific number of years, with a lifetime registration only for high risk sex offenders. Kansas is one of at least 20 states with no sex offender residency restrictions

The Columbia Missourian analyzed Missouri State Highway Patrol records of more than 2,500 offenders who moved out of the state in the past two years. Kansas, Illinois and Arkansas are the top destinations for sex offenders.

Almost three dozen sex offenders moved to Mexico, which has no national sex offender registry.

“Sex offenders do shop around,” said Paula Stitz, who runs the State Sex Offender Registry for the Arkansas Crime Information Center. “It’s been my experience and the experience of other state-level managers. I had actual telephone calls and them telling me that they are shopping around.”

Last year, as part of an overhaul of Missouri’s criminal statutes, Rep. Kurt Bahr, R-St. Charles, sponsored a bill that included a minimum registration requirement of 15 years, followed by 25 years, with lifetime registration only for high-risk offenders — the same registration tiers as Kansas. The bill died but a similar bill passed the House this session and is headed to the Senate.

Kansas is one of at least 20 states with no sex offender residency restrictions unless on probation or parole. Kansas is now home to 512 former Missouri registrants who moved there in the past two years.

John Gauntt, of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, isn’t sure Kansas attracts sex offenders because of its looser requirements. State agencies do not question offenders when they move and register in another state. Gauntt said it’s up to law enforcement to know where the offenders live.

“Just because we don’t have a residency requirement, the agencies are not giving the offenders a free ride,” Gauntt said.

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